The Next Chapter·Bedside Books

Why singer-songwriter Andrea Ramolo is inspired by this book about wild women

The member of the folk-pop duo Scarlett Jane loves Clarissa Pinkola Estés' book Women Who Run with the Wolves.
Singer-songwriter Andrea Ramalo says Women Who Run with the Wolves taps into a powerful expression of womanhood that is lost in this day and age. (Neil Barbisan/Random House Publishing Group)

Andrea Ramolo is a Toronto born singer-songwriter and one half of folk-pop duo Scarlett Jane. Her latest solo project NUDA is her most personal work to date, and was borne of the two emotions she believes are universal — love and pain. Ramolo says that after it being reccomended to her for years she finally got around to picking up Clarissa Pinkola Estés' Women Who Run with the Wolves and hasn't put it down since.

Why she loves the book

"When I was on the road, I finally got to delve into a very special book that has been recommended to me for years now. The book itself is this beautiful exploration of the 'wild woman' archetype. The author uses myth and fairy tales, some of which I was familiar with growing up. It was beautiful to hear them again in a new context. The book addresses how this 'wild woman' archetype is an endangered species in our day and age."

Wild woman

"One of my favourite accounts in the book is of Lady Death. It tells the story of a woman who was dragged to a cliffside by her father — she did something very bad — and ended up in the ocean and a fisherman ends up getting tangled up in her bones. He runs like hell, he paddles his boat towards the shore trying to escape this horrible creature. He reaches the shore and he's exhausted, and in his state of exhaustion he feels this overwhelming kindness that comes over him. He looks at his line tangled all in her bones and he slowly and carefully untangles her bones. This is the work that we have to do, the work that sometimes the ego is afraid to do. He untangles her bit by bit and finally he puts the bones into their rightful place. He falls asleep and sheds a tear and in this tear he ends up feeding her this river of nourishment that she needed. She ends up growing flesh and skin, and the next morning crawls into the bed in human form with this man. It's this beautiful tale of how he faced Lady Death and was able to then experience love — what love really is, in all of it's fear and glory." 

Facing Lady Death

"This album was written during a really dark time when I left certain pieces of myself behind and I had to rebuild myself. I didn't know it at the time, but going through depression and writing these songs to help me through it was my process of facing this Lady Death — this life-death-life cycle. With death there's always rebirth and there's always a promise of renewal, it's hard sometimes as a human being to recognize that."          

Andrea Ramolo's comments have been edited and condensed.